20th April 2015
This is just a short update on the situation in Syria. We had contact today (Friday) with Fr. Ziad Hilal, SJ in Homs. He had been talking earlier to Sr. Annie in Aleppo, who confirmed that many Christian families were leaving the city in buses heading towards Homs, the Valley of the Christians, Lattaquié, Tartus and the mountains near to Tartus. She also said that those families, who are still in Aleppo, are taking refuge in the basement of churches, where they feel safer than in their homes. Caritas is managing the relief aid well.
In Tartus preparations are being made for the arrival of more refugees. A Sacred Heart sister will supervise the work and will be helped by some young people, who already fled from Aleppo some time ago. In the mountains outside Tartus there are some 60 refugee families but daily new buses with more are arriving. There, the Maronite convent is opening its doors to the refugees and Fr. Ziad is organising aid for the refugees with some of the funds that ACN had already sent for his other projects in Homs and the surround area. With the same money he is also helping the refugee families arriving in the Valley of the Christians. For the moment there are 30 families there. He knows that ACN is ready to send more funds but for the moment he prefers to wait until he has a better overview of the situation.